I currently use flickr to host photos of my activations. Unfortunately, it costs about $25/year and is a pain to navigate (like almost anything yahoo related).
Has anyone considered allowing the capability for each individual summit page on sotadata.org to have photos or a link to a separate page that has photos for just that summit? It would be a lot better than what I have to deal with via flickr and would avoid a litany of broken links that inevitably occur.
I would be willing to pay for this feature, whether it be a one time or recurring fee. I’d even be ok with there being a limit on the number of photos any one user could upload per summit.
I use flickr without paying anything, and it seems OK to me. There are two SOTA related groups set up.
I try to tag all my photos with summit name, SOTA ref, and my callsign, so they are pretty easy to find. Actually, I enjoy browsing the groups rather than looking up specific summits, so I would encourage others to upload and share. You can, of course, link to them from this reflector as well, under a suitable title…
It’s nothing to do with SOTA. It’s something private someone has set up. Much like the Google+ thing, a private endevour nothing to do with SOTA where many if not most of the people associated are CBers.
There are a few of us who will not use any type of social media…i.e. facebook, twitter, google, yahoo or flickr. As it relates to photos on a few of those sites as soon as you upload them they in a sense belong to the site. As a semi pro photog I do not want people to steal my photos…and it has happened…it happens more than you guys/gals think.
It would be better if we could upload a limited size photo here on the reflector or even better on the summit page to show what or where the summit is and what it looks like. I don’t believe photos would be safe from being stolen here either…any time you upload to the web consider it no longer your domain.
Quite agree - I would guess that the MT’s job is tough enough without adding such a burden. Although such a facility would not be so difficult in principle to realize, the storage and uploading/downloading of the picture data could easily result in greatly increased database space and usage, as well as increased bandwidth: all of which have to paid for from a limited budget. My understanding of the current state of affairs on the SOTA servers is that both the database and the bandwidth are already running close to the limits of the terms of service.
Things might be different if we were all to pay a membership fee, but that’s a different kettle of fish entirely
Like many others I do use Flickr. And yes their user interface is not ideal. But there are some neat tools available to link Flickr-hosted photos into your Wordpress-based blogs. And your photos can be added to any of the SOTA groups as well as to other amateur radio-focussed groups, allowing you to promote SOTA to other amateurs.
The free version of flickr is slightly limited in that (from memory) it does not allow creation of folder structures like sets (now called albums). However like many other things, some work is needed to get used to how it works.
There are alternatives, both free and paid.
I think using Flickr is a lot simpler overall than buying a domain name and setting up your own website, if photos are all you want to publish. All photos could be placed onto your own site using hand crafted web pages, or pages generated by software - more tools to learn. All much more complex than using a canned service like Flickr.
The same applies to using Wordpress for blogs. If you use the free version you have to endure the ads put onto your blog by Wordpress. If you install wordpress on your own site, you don’t have those ads but you then have to manage updates and you will be paying fees for site hosting and probably a biennial fee for domain registration.
My info is out of date in that case. I decided to pay for a Pro account some years ago because there were limitations in the free account I was not happy with. But competition from Google and others has changed the benefits available free. The pro account fee is still less than the sum of (domain registration, monthly hosting fees) and you get some benefits from tagging and membership of Flickr groups where your photos can be readily viewed by the wider audience.
There is no easy answer to this question. To host photos you need something with sufficient space to save the photo files and sufficient transfer bandwidth so that it can support “enough” users doing uploads and downloads and views. So that is space * bandwidth and for any value where those numbers are useful the cost is high. We wont even go into the software needed to browse, organise, search or categorise photos. Or cost and space needed to back it all up.
It just isn’t cost effective and never will be cost effective to save the data on one of the official SOTA sites. You can get 1TB of storage on Flickr for free with a limit on the number of uploads you can do each month. And there’s no limit on the number of accounts you can create. Upload your photos to there and post links here. Jon will confirm, but I think we cache images on SOTAwatch when you paste a link. So they shouldn’t break. But post some SOTA unique tags with the photos when you upload them to Flickr (or whatever) so people can search for SOTA pictures on Flickr just incase.
We are paying monthly for SOTAwatch to be hosted for us. The old SOTAwatch was hosted on a server Jon owned and ran. It costs more to have it hosted by someone but they have to maintain and worry about backups. It means Jon doesn’t need to wet-nurse the site. We do have a storage limit and we have set some maximums for photos that should stop us running up a massive bill. I always scale and compress photos I upload here to 1024x768 and about 100kbytes in size.
For comparison to the free 1TB limit, the entire database hosting account limits us to 5GB of storage. We have to fit the database, some backup files, pictures, transient uploaded CSV files and access logs into that. It’s getting very tight now and I’ll be moving us from a shared web host and shared database engine to somethine else soon. Much as though it seems wrong to an haggard and grumpy old duffer like me we’ll probably end up with database in the cloud. There are so many plus points that it is hard to discount that as a solution. However, I intend to do that migration in 2 stages, one is from a hosted web site to our own virtual server running the database and probably the sota spotting engines and SOTA cluster. Then when I have some accurate figures for user access, time spent per page, upload/download figures, DB metrics I’ll move us into the cloud as I’ll know what to buy. Looking at the figures which can be gleaned from our database hosts, I’m amazed they haven’t been around with a big stick demanding we pay them a significantly larger amount for what we do. That is one of the great things about cloud hosting… the ability to scale on demand.
I, too, must have outdated info as I signed up for the pro account a little more than 2 years ago because I was about to exceed the number of sets/folders allowed. I organize all my photos of one peak into one set/folder and then create a guest pass link to post on the summit page for all to see.
So, if I don’t have to pay anymore, that’s good news. However, I would still rather send $ to the SOTA management team in exchange for being to upload photos directly to the summit page. Even if each person was limited to say 10 photos per summit at a certain lower resolution to save on bandwidth costs. Guess that’s not gonna happen though.
On a separate note, can anyone tell me why I might not be receiving replies to any of my threads when I made sure that I have subscribed to them?